(Liquidambar styraciflua )
The Witch-hazel Family (Hamamelidaceae)

Tall tree with alternate, deciduous star- shaped leaves and gray-brown, irregularly furrowed bark.


Low, rich, moist woods; coastal plains.

Interesting Facts: 

Named for the chewy, flavorful sap that has been used for chewing gum, medicinal purposes, as an adhesive, and as a fragrance. Second most common timber hardwood, used as veneer, pulpwood, plywood and for storage containers. Host to the Luna Moth.

Spiny, brown, spherical cluster of capsules, 1-1.5” in diameter with openings that release 2 seeds each; maturing in fall.
Small, yellow-green stalk with a ball-like head on drooping clusters. Male: Yellow-green in small clusters on an upright raceme, appearing in early to mid-spring.
Wildlife value: 
Seeds are eaten by squirrels, chipmunks, and some songbirds, especially finch species (American Goldfinch, Purple Finch).
Male Flowers
Seed Pod
Leaf type: 
Wildlife value: 
Tree dimensions: 

Leaf length: 4.00-10.00 inches
Tree height: 60.00-100.00 feet

Where to find Sweetgum on the Louisiana State Arboretum Trails:

WAB - Walker Branch Trail 9.0

Refer to our Live Map to locate this species and its interpretative signage on the trail system.